French-UK drone project to be unveiled by end of week

By REUTERS
February 16, 2012 15:47

PARIS - France and Britain will unveil plans on Friday for a joint project to develop a next-generation unmanned stealth aircraft, or drone, following a cooperation accord signed in 2010, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.

President Nicolas Sarkozy and Prime Minister David Cameron, who are set to meet on Friday at a bilateral summit in Paris, will announce a non-binding letter of intent, with the project to be headed by France's Dassault Aviation and British defense contractor BAE Systems.

The news, first reported in Les Echos daily, was confirmed to Reuters by five sources who did not wish to be named.

A prototype of the drone could appear by 2020, the newspaper said on Thursday, adding that it would be funded preliminarily with "a few dozen millions of euros".


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